When grieving, it is easy to fall into a pit. The whole thing is a big, huge process. But, here are some ways to try to stay out. First, look at your views.
When grieving, we may have a tainted view of God.
“I could have come up with a better plan than this.”
“It does not seem fair.”
“God is not helping me.”
As a result, we experience unsteadiness, anxiety, and anger at God.
However, we can choose to believe the truth about God:
- He is growing His children (James 1:2-4).
- God will be a strength and refuge (Psalm 46:1).
- He is still faithful and good (Psalm 119:75).
- His ways are right and just, though I may not understand or see (2 Cor. 4:8/Heb. 11:1).
The more we choose to believe the truth about God, the results are:
- Hope (Romans 5:3-4).
- Willingness to wait on God (Psalm 130: 5-6).
- Strength in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).
We can also bring wrong thinking about ourselves into grief:
I deserve better than this. I should not have to suffer. It is not fair.
It is more important for me to be happy than holy (Jer. 2:11-13).
I thought I would have an easy life and I look to those circumstances as my source of peace, hope, joy.
Hardship in life equals bad for me.
I will never get out of this pain. This will last forever.
It doesn’t seem like I am growing. I am getting worse.
Since this is so painful and hard, I can’t do anything.
Something is wrong with me. I am embarrassed.
I am afraid of rejection.
I am unlikeable.
I feel abandoned. I feel alone/lonely and like no one else is dealing with this.
I am not sure if I can ever be happy again.
We can also choose right thoughts about ourselves:
- I am one with Christ (John 17:21).
- Christ died to save me and to give me a purpose to display Him in the midst of the hardest times (Rom. 8:28-30/Is. 43:7).
- I am willing to suffer for His name to be made known (Phil. 3:8-10).
- Christ was made perfect through suffering (Heb. 2:10). I will grow through suffering.
- There are things I will never understand (Deut. 29:29).
- I am the created, He is the Creator. I will humble under God and believe His ways and thoughts are higher than mine (Is. 55:8-9).
- Even if the hard things last my whole life, it is a small time compared to eternity (2 Cor. 4:16-18).
- I can keep following Jesus in His strength for His glory today (John 14:15).
In grief, wrong thinking about others crops up:
- People do not understand me.
- How dare such and such treat me that way.
- That person is damaging my self-esteem.
We can choose right thinking about others:
- What truth do others need to hear or see from me today? How will I accomplish that? (2 Cor. 1:4). TobyMac says he is on the edge of his seat expectant for what God will do each day.
- Others are better than myself (Phil. 2:3-4).
- How can I love others? (Matt. 22:37-39).
- How can I display Christ to someone who has wronged me today? (1 Pet. 2:21-23).
Lastly, we can choose right actions:
- Trust God (1 Thess. 5:16-18).
- Ask others to pray for you.
- Seek fellowship with believers, sing praises, hear messages (Heb. 10:25).
- Reach out to others in service (Matt. 20:28).
- Ask God what you are responsible for in a given situation (communicate, deal with anger or anxiety).
- Get out of bed with an alarm.
- Make a list of duties and carry them out. Ask a friend to hold you accountable (Gal. 6:5).
David echoes this: “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure” (Psalm 40:2). This is a battle and a daily fight and is not easy. It may be two steps forward, one step back. But, it is worth seeking this freedom with the Lord’s help.